The discussion about raster and vector can be a bit complex and boring, but there is a simple key to distinguish between those two image types. Simply put, vector graphic is the raw version of an image, while raster (also called bitmap) is the ready-to-use version of the image. Since vector is intended to edit, it requires a specific tool to open. Raster, on the other hand, doesn’t require specific tool to open. It can be opened using regular image viewer.
Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Inkscape are the examples of tools you can use to open and edit a vector graphic. Typically, they have their respective file format which sadly are proprietary (with the exception of Inkscape). Luckly, The World Wide Web Consortium has determined a standard format for vector graphic, the format is SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics).
A vector graphic stored in a SVG format should be opened using all vector editors like mentioned above. So, if you want to convert a raster graphic to vector, you better choose a tool that result a SVG format. And, here are the tools you can use online for free.
1. Converting raster to vector using vectorizer.io
The first online tool you can use to convert raster to vector is vectorizer.io. Before getting started, ensure that the image file you want to convert is not larger than 1 MB. This tool works by by converting pixel color information into simple geometric objects. The allowed input file format are PNG, BMP, JPEG.
- Visit the website of vectorizer.io at http://www.vectorizer.io/ and click the Upload Image button.
- vectorizer.io will immediately convert the image. Wait a moment until the converting process is done and click the Download button to download the vector image.
2. Converting raster to vector using Vector Magic
The second tool you can use to convert raster to vector is Vector Magic. In addition to SVG, you can also choose ESP file format. This tool will also immediately turn your raster image into vector once you picked and uploaded the file. No additional action is required. If you wish it, you can also install this converter on your desktop (Windows and Mac).
- Visit the website of Vector Magic at https://vectormagic.com and click the Pick Image To Upload button and select the image you want to convert.
- Wait a moment until the converting process is done and click the Download Result button at the top-right corner.
3. Converting raster to vector using Autotracer.org
The interface of Autotracer.org might not as cool as two first tools above, but this tool allows you to convert a raster image with the file size up 6 MB. In addition, it also supports more output formats, including AI.
- Visit the website of Autotracer.org at http://www.autotracer.org/ and click the Choose File button to pick your file.
- Select your preferred output format and the number of colors and click the Start button.
- Wait a moment until the converting process is done and click the link result.
4. Converting raster to vector using Vectorization.org
Unlike three first tools above which give you a colorful result just like the original image, Vectorization.org will turn your colorful raster image into a black and white vector. You can convert a raster file with the maximum file size of 5 MB. Plus, there are 5 different output file formats you can choose from. Here is how to use Vectorization.org.
- Visit the website of Vectorization.org and click the Choose File button to pick the raster image file you want to convert.
- Choose your preferred output format and click the Start button.
- Wait a moment until Vectorization.org done converting your image and click the link result.
5. Converting raster to vector using Convertio
Convertio is a versatile online converter. Not only you can use this tool to convert raster to vector, but also other file formats. Convertio is a superb converter. You can convert a file with the maximum size of 100 MB. Convertio also allows you to directly convert your files on Dropbox and Google Drive. Here is how to use Convertio to convert raster to vector.
- Visit this page and click the From Computer to select your files from computer (or Dropbox/Google Drive icon if your want to convert from Dropbox/Google Drive).
- Click the Convert button to start converting.
- Wait a moment until Convertio get its job done and click the Download link.
6. Converting raster to vector using Vectorization.eu
Last but not least. Another tool you can use to convert raster to vector is Vectorization.eu. At the time of writing this tool supports five output formats; AI, EPS, SVG, DXF and DWG. This tool claims that it is able of turning pixel images with blurry edges into sharp and scalable vector images. Unfortunately, there is no information about the maximum file size you can convert.
- Visit the website of http://vectorization.eu/ and click the UPLOAD YOUR FILE button.
- Select your preferred output format and click the START CONVERSION button
- Wait a moment until the conversion process is done and click the link result.